Long Absences and Changes

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“I promise it won’t be three months before you hear from me next!”

…obviously, I have an apology to make because I’m now coming up on six months after my last post. My movie review site has taken the priority for me; coming up on a year later, it’s still going strong and I’m loving sharing my opinions with people. More news on that further down.

This semester has been a good one. My first as a senior (though this was my third year, I completed enough credit hours to be classified as a senior this semester), it has been pretty busy but in a completely different way than past semesters. I started off the semester enrolled in Advanced Brass Methods, Texas History, Music and Your Mind (an honors seminar), Symphonic Band, Matador Singers, The Superhero in Film, Television, and Popular Culture (another honors seminar that I just took for fun), Instrumental Conducting, and, of course, horn and voice lessons. I ended up dropping Texas History due to it being too reading intensive in addition to all of the reading I was already having to do in my honors classes, but everything else went just swimmingly.

Advanced Brass Methods was great until after spring break, but the second half of the course was taught by a teaching assistant who I just do not care for. Music and Your Mind has been lots of fun; it is taught by a professor I have had twice before, but I was the only music major enrolled since it is an honors course, not a music course. It’s sort of like music philosophy and physiology, and it has been very interesting. Our final project was a presentation and a paper over a subject of our choice, so I did a study on the recognizability of film music, which ended up being incredibly fascinating…more to come on that later. Symphonic Band with Dr. Allen has continued to be extraordinarily rewarding; he’s one of the best directors I have ever had, and I really enjoyed everything we played this semester. Being back in Matador Singers was also a lot of fun, though I wish that our concert hadn’t been so early in the semester…it was back in March, I think. But I’m enrolled in Matador Singers this fall for the first time (I’ve only been able to participate in the spring semesters so far), and Andrew will be joining me! Exciting news. Going back to classes with Dr. Allen, conducting was also a lot of fun this semester, with the focus being less on conducting and more on rehearsal techniques and lesson planning, which was a very enlightening experience. My superhero class has been interesting as well, with us learning about how superheroes came to be and how they were and continue to be reflections of the world we live in. As far as my lessons go, horn has been about same-old, same-old, though I plan on getting even better over the summer, but voice lessons go things were a lot more active this semester because I did a recital! It went quite well and was fun to put together. Video for that will hopefully be posted soon, once I can figure out how to split up large video files without losing quality. Soon!

Summer plans are pretty basic at the moment; go home, practice horn, make an attempt at working out and getting fit (I’m down to 200lbs now!), etc. I wish I could say that I was returning to my job playing horn for Garland Summer Musicals again, but, unfortunately, the guy who was music director for South Pacific last year is not returning this year and didn’t pass on his information to the new guys, so the orchestra spots have already been filled. I am hoping to return to teaching French horn private lessons at Kimbrough and Poteet, maybe even North Mesquite, but we’ll see how things go. In any case, I will be teaching at Poteet’s band camp again this summer, so I have that to look forward to.

Now onto the “more news” I referred to above. As much fun as it was to maintain this blog for my first two years at Tech, as I said, my movie review site has taken the priority as far as my writing goes. This does not mean that this blog is going away, though; rather, it is now being re-purposed. In the coming weeks, I will be re-structuring “chadadada.wordpress.com” into a supplemental editorial-style blog for my ChadLikesMovies.com review site. This space will be a place for additional commentary I may have on movies or their soundtracks or on anything else that I find relevant. The first post for this will be a thorough write-up of my findings in movie music recognizability, which will be up in the next week or two.

I want to thank you all who have kept up with my blog these past couple of years and who care what goes on in my life, and who knows? I may even keep up a portion of this site to allow for the occasional personal update or two, but your best place to keep up with my day-to-day ramblings will be over on Twitter or on Facebook. I hope that you all enjoy this new idea of a supplemental blog for ChadLikesMovies.com and will give feedback as those changes are implemented soon.

God bless,

Chad

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Puns, books, and sleeps.

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I apologize for my long absence. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve been absent from my review site as well – though I’ve been keeping track of what I need to review when I get the chance.

So, life…it’s pretty good, but also pretty busy, though not for the reasons it should be. My music classes this semester – Form & Analysis, Brass Methods, Goin’ Band, Music for Children, Symphonic Band, and Conducting – are all pretty basic and easy to handle. It’s my one non-music class that has proved itself to be a little overwhelming. It’s an honors humanities seminar called Western Intellectual Traditions. I signed up thinking, “oh, Western philosophy, that could be pretty cool!” …but then I walked into the classroom on the first day and was handed a 12-book reading list. From the first class to the second class we read The Epic of Gilgamesh, and we have since then read Homer’s The Iliad, 64 chapters of the Old Testament, about the same number of chapters from the New Testament, Antigone and Oedipus the King by Sophocles, Plato’s Phaedo and a chapter from Plato’s Republic, Marcus Aurelius’ MeditationsThe Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius, Beowulf, Dante’s Inferno, and two chapters from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. We’re finishing up The Treasure of the City of Ladies by Christine de Pizan by Thursday, and then we only have one book left to read: The Imitation of Christ by Thomas á Kempis. On top of all of that, we have a 10-page paper due on the last day of class. So yeah…very busy, and most of the reason why I haven’t posted here very often.

Aside from all of that nonsense, everything about this semester has been great. Goin’ Band has been a lot of fun; Rachel and I have worked together as section leaders really well and we’ve been lucky to have a great section this year. I’m also in my fifth semester of voice lessons, which are going well…I’m preparing for a just-for-fun recital that will take place sometime in the spring! In addition to that, I’m sort of in a class (meaning I’m participating without enrollment) called “Scenes,” in which we auditioned and were assigned to groups in which we will prepare and eventually perform a scene from a musical theatre/opera production. I’m a part of three of these scenes, which also contribute to my busy-ness, but I’m having lots of fun being a part of them.

Let’s see…what else has happened this semester? I got the iPhone 5, bought a new, fancy horn case, ordered my official Texas Tech ring (which I will have in less than two weeks!), and voted in my first presidential election. I also saw more movies than I should have – Looper, Finding Nemo 3D, Sinister, Wreck-It Ralph, Flight, and Skyfall…I think that’s it, though I saw a couple of those multiple times. And there are more to come! Lincoln comes out this weekend, Rise of the Guardians comes out the week after that, and in December we have The HobbitLes MiserablesDjango Unchained, and a couple others…it’s been a good year for movies.

There are only 13 days of class left of the semester…not that I’m keeping count or anything. Thanksgiving break is next week, so I’ll get to go home! That’ll be fun. In a month’s time, I will be sitting at home for Christmas break. I’m too excited!

I know that wasn’t too much of an update, but I’m still trying to finish up The Treasure of the City of Ladies…goody. I promise it won’t be three months before you hear from me next!

Stay fresh and God bless.

Chad

Never not be having fun!

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I will post this video on people’s FB pages for their birthdays now.

Well, it’s been an eventful week. I won’t go into terrible detail, but I’ll give you the highlights.

Last Wednesday night, I decided to go to Best Buy to buy Marvel’s Thor on Blu-Ray. I hadn’t seen it before, and, since the midnight premiere for The Avengers was the next night, I figured it was time for me to watch it. As it turned out, all of the Marvel movies were on sale, so I went ahead and bought The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 2 as well to complete my Marvel/Avengers collection.

Despite the fact that I bought Thor for myself, I ended up going over to Lexi’s house to watch it with her. She has it on Blu-Ray 3D, and she has the capable Blu-Ray player and TV and glasses to allow 3D viewing. Unfortunately, one of the pairs of glasses were out of batteries, so we didn’t watch it in 3D, but the few minutes that I did see in 3D were pretty awesome. I definitely wouldn’t mind having a 3D Blu-Ray Player/TV of my own!

As for the movie, I really enjoyed it. It was definitely different than the other Marvel movies being that it’s topic was considerably more “supernatural”; lots of it takes place on a distant planet. I was glad to finally see it!

The next day, after classes had gotten out, I went and picked up our tickets for the midnight showing later that night so that we could skip the line whenever we showed up later. I then stopped by Target to see if I could find an Avengers shirt that I liked to wear to the midnight premiere, but they didn’t have any, so I went to jcpenney instead, which had LOTS of great choices…I ended up buying two! Very cool.

I ended up going to the theater at about 10ish or so, meeting up with Lexi and her sister Bekka, who had arrived at about 8 and saved Andrew and me seats. Andrew showed up a little bit later because of a meeting he had with his fraternity. When midnight rolled around, I made sure to call Granna for her birthday before the pre-movie trailers started, which was cool because she was definitely surprised!

After I wished her a happy birthday, I turned off my phone and returned to the theater just in time for the trailers. The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man, Prometheus…so many great movies coming out this summer! I can’t wait!

And now, The Avengers. THE AVENGERS. I can say the following with complete conviction: I’ve never had so much fun watching a movie as I did while watching The Avengers. It managed to throw humor, action, and quality acting together to make one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. EVERYONE should see this movie. Really, if you haven’t already, you should go see it. The score by Alan Silvestri (Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Captain America: The First Avenger) was fantastic as well…the track “The Avengers” is now my ringtone!

I only had a couple of classes the next day, and they were pretty evenly spaced out throughout the day, so it wasn’t anything that I couldn’t handle, even on limited sleep. However, once I was done for the day, I went back to the room and crashed. I slept from 4 to 6:45, at which point I shaved and got semi-dressed up for a musical audition at 7. The audition was for next fall’s musical, Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, and my audition went well, but, after I had told the director that I’m a Goin’ Band section leader next fall, he told me that there would be no possible way for me to do the show. Oh well!

I came straight back to the room and proceeded to sleep some more, this time until about 10:30 or 10:45ish. I woke up, played video games for a few hours, surfed the Internet some, and then went to bed at 4ish or something.

Get this – the next day, I was in bed until 7pm. I know, crazy, right?! There was nothing pressing that I had to do or attend, and I didn’t feel like doing much else, so I just stayed in bed all day. I woke up several times throughout the morning and afternoon, but I officially woke at 5, staying in bed for another couple of hours, playing games on my phone.

When I finally got out of bed, I grabbed dinner and wasted away in the room. I returned to the comics that I had downloaded onto my iPad last summer, reading some Spider-Man, Fantastic 4, Iron Man, and the first issue of The Avengers. Good stuff.

I again went to bed at 4, but I was up early enough to make it to church in the morning. I came back to the room after church, changing into some more relaxed clothes and eating a quick lunch before heading back out and meeting Lexi at the movie theater for round 2 of The Avengers! It was actually Lexi’s third time to see it…her goal was to see it 4 times opening weekend; she ended up seeing it for the fourth time on Monday! It was just as good the second time, and I’ll be honest…I plan on seeing it at least once more in theaters. I’ve got to see it in IMAX 3D back home!

Later Sunday evening, I went to the University Bands’ concert at the music building, which was lots of fun. I went to last year’s concert as well. Though the University Bands are comprised of mostly non-music majors or music majors playing secondary instruments, their end-of-the-year concerts are lots of fun because they typically feature movie music, which, as you all know, is my favorite!

The better of the two bands was the first to perform. They played a piece about/for/in memory of Rosa Parks, which was probably my favorite of the ones they played (Rachel, my co-section leader, had a solo or two! She sounded great!). The first band also played some music from a few video games and an Eric Whitacre piece and music from John Williams’ score for Far and Away. They were really good, though! The second band wasn’t as good, but their program was still fun. They played music from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Star Wars, as well as something else that I don’t remember. Still lots of fun, though!

That night, I did my music theory final exam review that was due in class the next day, which was really easy. Then I hit the hay!

We’re almost caught up…hang in there!

Monday was pretty simple. Theory was spent going over the review, and all we did in woodwind methods was turn in our instruments and notebooks. I got an A in the class, so I don’t have to take the final that would have been next Tuesday, which is a relief…I get to go home a day earlier now! We had our final music history lecture, which was interesting, but it wasn’t exactly what I had hoped it would be; last spring, our teacher ended the year by bringing his accordion to class and playing for us, which was awesome! Oh well. I really enjoyed this iteration of the music history class; after the final on Saturday, I’m done with undergraduate music history classes! Hooray! My only other classes that day were band and piano, which were pretty standard. Done with those too (minus my piano final on Friday)!

Monday evening was spent typing out my 4-page paper for my science class that was due today. It was really pretty easy; it had to be about anything in the field of biology that interested us, so I wrote about stem cell research. Michael J. Fox first introduced me to stem cells in his memoirs. As you should know, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991 and since has become an advocate for funding further stem cell research.

Stem cell research is also really controversial, but only one area: embryonic stem cell research. This involves taking an embryo five days after an egg has been fertilized, called a blastocyst at this stage. The debate is whether or not an embryo this early in development can be considered “living” or not. My personal opinion? Yes, they are living at this point, so they should not be used for stem cell research.

HOWEVER, there are lots of stem cells are thrown away for no reason, and I think that they should be taken advantage of. No matter your moral stance on embryonic stem cells, the fact of the matter is that further research into this area may eventually provide the key to curing diseases previously though incurable, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and Parkinson’s disease. I need to look further into this area so that I can form a better opinion. I encourage all of you to look into this and other issues of political debate…this stuff matters.

Anyway, I finished my paper and eventually went to bed. My science class was my only real class today, so I woke up and went to class at 9:30, turned in my paper, listened to a brief lecture, and then returned to the room. Back in the room, I finished up my Powerpoint presentation for my movie project that I’ve been working on for the past month, the conclusions of which we presented in our final lab today. It went well.

Our last horn studio for the semester was at 5. I practiced on my horn for a while after it was over, and then I came back to the room and just messed around. I balanced my checkbook, I listened to music, I read some of my book, etc. When Andrew got off work, we walked to Chipotle for dinner, and then I just did more of the same thing. Exciting, huh?

Now, I’m about to hit the hay. I have no obligations tomorrow until 1 in the afternoon, at which point I’m meeting with my accompanist and my horn lesson teacher to practice my jury piece for a while, after which I will be meeting with my friend John (who directed CCBB last year) for lunch. I haven’t seen him in a while, so it’ll be great to see him! Later in the evening, I have my final voice performance lab that I have to sing at at 5:30, and then I am heading over to Lexi’s house for a game night with her and one of her friends, which should also be lots of fun.

Less than a week until I’m home!

Welp, I know it’s been more than a week since my last post, but this is my longest post in quite a while, so I hope it was worth the wait. Goodnight!

Chad

P.S. – Want a good place to read more about stem cell research? Click HERE for the source that I used to write my paper. Do it!

Boomroasted.

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So, this past weekend was pretty much the most boring thing ever. With my music history research paper out of the way and no other homework to hold me down, I pretty much sat around and did nothing all weekend.

On Friday night, I was up until 2 or 3 in the morning before I decided to go to bed. I woke up on Saturday morning at about 9ish, thought to myself, “Is there anything I want to get up and do right now?”, decided there wasn’t, and then went back to sleep. I repeated this process for the next several hours until 3:45pm came around. At this point, I realized that I had to be at a recital at 4, so I finally got out of bed, got dressed, and made it up to the music building on time. The recital was for a graduate student, so it was nearly an hour and a half long, but, since I had had plenty of sleep, I had no problem staying awake the whole time.

When the recital was over, I went back to Sneed, grabbed some food, and then joined Andrew in the room. The Jason Segel movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall was on, which I hadn’t seen before, so we watched for a while before I hopped in the shower and then got ready for our choir concert on Saturday night. This concert wasn’t just us Matador Singers, though. It was all of the choirs combined together, so there were lots of us up there singing together. We sang along with the orchestra/band combo, which was really cool. We sang Mozart’s Requiem, which was really super awesome. The extra rehearsals leading up to the concert were awful, but I really enjoyed the performance itself.

After the concert, Andrew went and hung out with some of his fraternity friends, while I chilled out in the room, getting in bed at 2 or so. I woke up for church the next morning, but all we really did was have an extended Sunday school meeting in which we discussed future social opportunities for us as a group. Somehow, the fact that I’m playing horn for a musical this summer got brought up, so everyone started making plans to visit Dallas as a group to see the musical I’m playing for, to maybe visit Six Flags, and to even go to the Medieval Times restaurant place in June, which is really cool! I’m excited to see if they’ll all be able to come and check it out.

I had a Goin’ Band leadership meeting at 1, where we all took turns teaching each other some of the band’s marching techniques. That went on for about an hour before Rachel and I went and uncased all of the marching horns to make sure that they were in working order and didn’t have to be sent to the shop over the summer before marching season next fall. From there, Rachel and I said goodbye, and I joined a girl from my theory class in the Student Union Building to finish a project that we were partnered for. It only took us about 20 minutes to get what we needed done done, but then we sat around and talked to each other for a couple of hours, which was nice since we had never really talked to each other before.

The rest of my day was spent doing pretty much nothing in the room. I ended up cleaning up a bit, emptying out all of our trash and stuff so that the room was a little tidier, but, other than that, I just sat around, bored.

Today was pretty awesome though, for a couple of different reasons. Theory and woodwind methods weren’t anything special, but today was the day we were supposed to get our music history research grades. Our class rolled around, and, while we didn’t have our own personal grades just yet, all of the papers WERE graded, so he told us how many people got each grade. There were 21 As and only 6 failing grades, with everyone else getting Bs and Cs; at this point, I was fairly positive that my paper wasn’t bad enough to make me one of the students with the failing research paper grade. I was thinking that I would be getting a B or a C, which was fine with me since he was giving us all the opportunity to revise and resubmit our papers for a possible higher grade. Our individual grades were posted online a few hours later, and guess what? I got a 98! It was completely unexpected; remember, this was the paper that I started and finished within a 34-hour time frame of no sleep, so I didn’t think it was THAT high quality, but, wow! I was certainly surprised, and even more relieved…a 98 meant that I was completely done with this paper! Huzzah!

The rest of my classes flew by, and I was back in the room before too long. Andrew and I watched a couple of episodes of How I Met Your Mother before he had to go to work, at which point I pulled out my paperback copy of Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie, the book that I’ve read at least once a year since I first read it for school in 8th grade. In case you don’t want to do the math, that means that this was at least my 7th time reading it, maybe even my 8th or 9th. In any case, Tuesdays with Morrie is the one book that I’ve read more than any other book I’ve ever read. I LOVE it. If you haven’t read it, you should. I’ve learned a lot from this book and from the lessons it teaches; it’s the only book that I’ve willingly highlighted material in. It can change your life if you let it! Anyway, I picked it up, started reading nonstop, and had it finished less than 3 hours later. So good!

Andrew eventually made it back to the room after work. I grabbed dinner, and we proceeded to put on more How I Met Your Mother, watching several episodes before calling it quits for the night; it’s too late to watch any more. It’s time for bed!

I’m sorry if this post has been sort of disjointed and abrupt; it’s late, I’ve been watching HIMYM, and I’m ready for bed. So goodnight!

Chad

Night to remember.

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It’s been a busy week! So sorry for the delay.

I drove home after classes on Friday, arriving back in Mesquite about 20 minutes after the Friday night performance of the Variety Show had finished, so I met up with my family at the school. Granna and Poppa took some family friends who had come along back home while Mom, Dad, Blake, and I (as well as a couple of Blake’s friends) went to Chick-Fil-A for dinner. Mom, Dad, and I left earlier than Blake and his friends so that we could get dessert at Braum’s. When we got back home, I did my flute playing quizzes for my woodwind methods class and then got in bed after a long day.

On Saturday, I woke up relatively early and got dressed. One disadvantage to living in Lubbock is that there’s not an IMAX screen at any of the theaters, but Mesquite DOES have one, so, while I was in town, I took advantage of Mesquite’s IMAX screen and went to see Titanic 3D in IMAX with Dad, Poppa, and Granna. It was awesome! Mom stayed behind since Blake wasn’t able to go (he had to be at the school to prep for the Variety Show), but Granna and I met up with Mom after the movie and went to a store to put together a goody basket to give to Blake after the performance. The Variety Show itself was really good; the women especially impressed me with their rendition of Adele’s Rumour Has It, but the guys sounded great too. Seth came in town as well, so we were the only two (real) alumni to join the group onstage to sing the traditional song. Of course, since Mrs. Westgate is leaving after this school year to take care of her baby, she was invited onstage as well; after all, she IS a Poteet and Variety alumni as well. It was a fun show, and I was glad to be able to make it into town to support Blake. Seth joined us for dinner (minus Blake, of course, who was still doing cleanup at the school) at Applebee’s, after which we went over to his house and watched The Strangers. It was some good hangout time.

On Sunday, I made the decision to skip church and sleep late because, if you remember, I had a research paper to do, and Sunday was the night that I designated as my all-nighter to knock out the paper in one clean cut. So I slept late (until about 12:30), loaded my stuff, said goodbye to my family, and hit the road. I rolled into Lubbock at about 6:15 or so, which was good timing since I had a choir rehearsal at 7. Before heading to that, however, I filled up my gas tank (gas was about 20 cents cheaper in Lubbock than back at home!) and drove through a quick car wash…my car needed it after last weekend’s “raining mud” incident. Choir rehearsal went fine, and then I returned to the room, ate a quick dinner, and then made it to the library by 10:15 to get started on my paper. I had stocked up on supplies to keep me awake and focused: two Coke Zeroes, two bottles of water, two 5-Hour Energies (something I hadn’t tried before), and a package of Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies (which are AWESOME).

I’ll admit…it was very slow-going at first. I had lots of trouble with getting focused on my research, particularly because everyone else was still awake, posting interesting things on FB and Twitter. I settled into my productive groove by about 3:30am and worked pretty hard until 7, about 6-7 pages into the paper, when I decided to move my car before it got ticketed at 7:30 and to get ready for class at 9. At this point, I was still running on the first 5-Hour Energy; I had taken it at 3am, and it worked pretty nicely. I got back to the room by 7:30, changed clothes, and shaved (you’re welcome, family!) before heading up to the music building. I grabbed some coffee and a couple of blueberry bagels (my new addiction) before heading to class.

For not having slept a wink in nearly 24 hours, I functioned and focused relatively well throughout all of my classes, the exception being woodwind methods…we didn’t play that day, so it was pretty boring. After that class, I grabbed my second cup of coffee before music history, where staying awake wasn’t a problem because we were taking notes the whole time. Nothing to speak of happened in my final classes of the day. When they were done, I gulped down the second 5-Hour Energy and got back to work. I finished my research paper after only a couple of hours…woohoo! To celebrate, I went to Cici’s for dinner; I ate Cici’s while working on my previous two research papers, so I continued the tradition. After eating, I came back to the campus, did my homework, took a shower, and got in bed at about 10:30…for those of you keeping score, that’s 34 hours of no sleep. I was EXHAUSTED, BUT my paper was finished, so it was worth it.

Other than finally feeling rested on Tuesday, not much happened. I went to class, which was all pretty uneventful, and then Andrew and I had choir rehearsal from 7-9. You see, all of the Tech choirs and the bands/orchestras join together once a year for the Scholarship Concert, which is how they fund all of the music scholarships given out each year. This year, we’re singing Mozart’s Requiem, which is actually pretty cool. The concert is on Saturday and should be lots of fun!

Today, I went to my 8am class and grabbed some coffee before my 9am class. When we got to music history at 11, we turned in our papers and were then let go for the rest of class…huzzah! Conner suggested that the two of us go back to my room and watch Back to the Future Part III during our free time, so we did. We got a little past halfway before I had to go back to the music building for band, but we had lots of fun during that time while watching. I’m so glad that Conner can quote the BTTF movies (almost) as well as I can!

I went to my remaining classes before meeting up with Rachel, the other horn section leader, at 4 to talk about what we want to focus on and accomplish in our section next year. We talked for nearly an hour; we’re so awesome! We even scheduled a meeting with our band director for Friday; he’s treating us to Chipotle, and we’ll all discuss next year as we eat delicious Chipotle goodness. Should be cool!

Anyway, back to my day. After Rachel and I met with each other, we said our goodbyes so that I could be on time to this week’s voice lab. I sang tonight, and I’ll be singing again tomorrow night for a bigger audience. Tonight’s performance really well, so I can’t wait for tomorrow’s!

The rest of the evening has been spent hanging out in the room and basically doing nothing. Of course, I did do some reading; last night when I went to Walmart to buy more mouthwash and a new toothbrush, I bought a copy of TIME Magazine’s 100th anniversary Titanic book/magazine/thing, which was very interesting. I read the whole thing tonight! The Titanic is still one of my favorite things to read about.

Now, I’m about to hop in the shower and then get in bed. So goodnight!

Chad

Arise

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Hello there everyone!

This week has actually been fairly boring, so there’s really not all that much to talk about. Here’s stuff that happened this week, in no particular order.

Remember me saying that my science class was actually being co-taught by two different professors? Well, the part of the class taught by the first professor is over (thank goodness). This was the teacher with the stupid tests…by the way, I ended up getting an A on that last test I told you about. So that’s good, I s’pose. Anyway, the “new” professor is the guy who has been in charge of our lab all semester long, so no he teaches both our lab and our normal class. He’s a lot better, in more ways than one: 1) he does more teaching than just reading off a Powerpoint presentation and assigning readings; 2) he doesn’t give stupid tests; 3) he’s more likeable as a person. We had our first test over this “new guy’s” material today, and I actually struggled with it a little bit because it was the first time we actually had to bother with knowing content in this class, but don’t worry, I think I did okay.

I downloaded an app on my iPad the other day called procreate. It’s a drawing app that is actually really kind of professional, meaning that a legitimate artist could pick it up and make a masterpiece right there on his iPad. Since I am not a professional artist, I started off by drawing Perry the Platypus. It turned out pretty awesome! Since then, I drew several Muppets, and by “draw” I mean “pasted the picture into the app, traced it, and then colored it in”. They look pretty awesome…maybe one day I’ll be able to draw them without having to trace!

I started a sort of tradition this week; well, I CALL it a tradition, but we’ll see how long it actually lasts. First, I need to tell you about an iPhone/iPad app called GetGlue. This app is designed to help you share with your friends and with the world what you are doing, i.e. what movie you’re watching, what musician you’re listening to, what book you’re reading, etc. As you use the app more and more, you unlock stickers related to whatever material you may be doing, and, eventually, you can get the actual stickers that you’ve earned sent to you in the mail. Anyway, back to the tradition I mentioned. On Monday, during my lunch break, I pulled out my headphones and picked a movie soundtrack to listen to. Then I open the GetGlue app and tell everyone what I’m listening to and tweet it with my Twitter hashtag “#soundtrackoftheday”. The first day was Michael Giacchino’s Star Trek, the next was Daft Punk’s TRON: Legacy, then Thomas Newman’s Finding Nemo, then James Newton Howard’s Atlantis: The Lost Empire, and then today’s was Jerry Goldsmith’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture, a soundtrack that I actually own (and listened to) on vinyl. It’s fun to listen to these on a regular basis, especially since I own so many of them, and to share my favorites with everyone else.

Speaking of vinyl, I used my record player for the first time in a while this week. As the semester rolled on, a pile of stuff built up on top of the record player, but, because I cleaned up a bit due to Andrew’s family coming in town last weekend, the player was clear and ready to be used. Before I left Mesquite Easter weekend to come back to Lubbock, I bought The Eagles’ Greatest Hits on vinyl, so that was the first album I listened to on my record player this week. I then listened to Paul McCartney and Wings’ Wings Over America live album, followed by The Beatles’ 1962-1966 (the so-called “Red Album”), and then today was the Star Trek: The Motion Picture. It feels good to get the vinyl back out again.

As you should all know, I have a British penpal who I met on Twitter. Well, through tweeting with her and exchanging letters, I learned that she’s only had Reese’s once before because they are not readily available over in the UK where she lives. Deeming this unacceptable and being the best penpal EVER, I decided to take it upon myself to properly introduce her to Reese’s. I bought one of just about every single kind of Reese’s available, including normal, dark chocolate, white chocolate, egg-shaped, Nutrageous, Fast Break, Crispy Crunchy, Big Cup, Pieces, etc., stuffed them into a box with my letter, and put it in the mail today. How awesome am I?! Haha. I was surprised to find how inexpensive it was to ship this package, which easily weighed a pound or two, to the UK; aside from the cost of the candy itself (most of which I picked up with my Raidercard dining bucks), I only payed $20 to ship it to England. Awesome! She’s agreed to send me some British candy with her next letter as well, so I’m plenty excited!

Tonight, we had a 2012 Goin’ Band section leaders meeting, at which we got our first glimpse of one of next fall’s marching shows. The particular show we looked at was the show that the members of Goin’ Band voted on, a Villains show. Music playlist consisting of: “O Fortuna” from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Thriller by Michael Jackson, the Imperial March from Star Wars by John Williams, Back in Black by AC/DC, “Mars” from The Planets by Holst, Another One Bites the Dust by Queen, Bad by Michael Jackson, and the Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Quite a set list, huh? It should be lots of fun. Rachel, the other section leader, and I decided to meet up some time next week so that we could establish our goals for the horn section in the fall…we’re gonna have an awesome section!

That’s pretty much it. Tomorrow, after classes get out, I drive home. Blake’s Variety Show at Poteet is this weekend, and I’m able to drive home and see it. I won’t make it to tomorrow night’s performance, but I’ll definitely be at Saturday’s! Then Sunday I get to drive back to Lubbock, go to a choir rehearsal, and then type up my research paper. Lots of fun in store for me in this coming week!

Goodnight, everyone!

Chad

It’s been a privilege.

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Hey all. Time for my weekend post!

Nothing worth speaking of really happened on Thursday, and not much happened on Friday, either, at least, not until after classes were done for the day. Andrew’s parents flew into town early that morning, but we didn’t see them until after 4 or so! They stayed in our room for a while, hanging out, until they left so that we could get dressed and prepared for our choir concert. The concert went really well, and we had a great time performing. Afterward, Andrew was surprised to see Scottie and his girlfriend, Laura, had also made the trek into town, something he hadn’t expected. It was a nice little surprise for him (Mrs. Grant had told me earlier). The six of us went out to eat at Ruby Tequila’s for dinner before parting ways for the night, making plans for breakfast the next morning. Andrew and I went back to the room and stayed up for a while, watching a few episodes of How I Met Your Mother before going to bed.

We woke up a little late on Saturday, but we still met the others at IHOP not too long after they had shown up themselves. We ate breakfast and then went back to the room, where we all relaxed for a bit before Andrew’s parents, Scottie, and Laura left to take care of some airport/rental car stuff. Andrew stayed behind in the room, but I went up to the music building at noon to attend a recital. It was Zach Houston’s percussion recital; he graduated a couple of years ahead of me at Poteet. His mother and his brother, Aaron, who’s my age and is a good friend of mine, had driven into town the night before, so they were also in attendance (which, admittedly, is the main reason why I went). With two other Poteet graduates sitting next to us, we had a nice little sort of reunion going on. When Zach had finished his recital, I said goodbye but not before making plans to meet up with Aaron later in the day.

I went back to the room, where Andrew’s family had regrouped. We watched the Rangers game for a while before we went for a tour across the campus. Laura had never been to Lubbock before, so it was mainly for her benefit. We literally walked from one side of the campus to the other and back, which took a little more than an hour. We were slowed down just a bit by the excessive wind…expected, I suppose. It IS Lubbock, after all! Unfortunately, all of Andrew’s family had to leave once we had finished our little tour, so we said our goodbyes and they were on their way.

I attended another recital at 4:30, this one for a fellow horn player, and I even stuck around afterwards and practiced on my horn for about an hour! I was proud of myself. From the music building, I contacted my friend Lexi. Recall that I first met Lexi on Twitter back in May or so of last year and officially met her last fall when I visited her church, which I now attend. Through me, Aaron started following Lexi on Twitter, and they got to the point where they tweeted each other quite a bit. So I arranged for the two of them to officially meet. Lexi and I went and ate at Chipotle while Aaron ate dinner with his family, and then Lexi and I picked Aaron up. The three of us went to Bahama Buck’s and talked for a while before driving back to the Tech campus and watching a movie in the room (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which neither of them had seen before). It was a nice little get-together, and Andrew even got to meet Lexi for the first time; he had been working at Relay for Life with his fraternity, but he made a quick visit to the room when he learned that Aaron was here. Such a good evening!

I woke up this morning a little late, but it didn’t matter that I showed up 20 minutes after bible study had started because our teacher had lost his lesson book, so we just socialized until service started, which went well. I left the church and went straight back to campus for a Goin’ Band Leadership meeting, where we practiced teaching a couple of techniques to each other; I did really well with it! No worries there. I went straight from the meeting to another horn recital and then back to the room for a while.

At about 7:25, I met up with Lexi at the movie theater to see Titanic. You see, I had never seen it before tonight. I don’t know why; I guess my parents never made it out to be a big deal when I was a kid, and, despite my fascination with the actual Titanic as a kid, the idea of the film never really appealed to me until pretty recently (the last couple of years or so), at which point a 3D re-release had already been slated, so I decided to wait and see it properly. And what better day to see Titanic for the first time than on the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the original ship?!

I LOVED it. I couldn’t believe I had never watched it before, but, then again, I’m glad I waited and saw it for the first time on the big screen. I’ve always said that that’s the proper way to see movies (which is why seeing Back to the Future on the big screen for the 25th anniversary re-release was such a big deal), and this didn’t disappoint…the 3D was even excellent! It’s hard to point out everything I liked about this movie, let alone what I DIDN’T like (there wasn’t much, if anything), but, overall, it was magnificent. Definitely one of my favorites now, and I only have to wait five months for it to be released on Blu-Ray for the first time! Woohoo!

Now, I’m back in the room. I’ve finished my homework, and now I’m about to shower before bed. Goodnight, everyone!

Chad

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